RE: Exploitation is a two-way street (was a bunch of other thread s)

Subject: RE: Exploitation is a two-way street (was a bunch of other thread s)
From: "Gillespie, Stephen (Contractor)" <Stephen -dot- Gillespie -at- Persnet -dot- Navy -dot- Mil>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 10:49:11 -0500

Andrew responded to my post about 50> hrs/week being 'exploitive' with:
>Employees exploit their employers as well. ... The screw turns both ways.
For every employer screwing employees, there are just as many employees
screwing their employers.

Agreed. But that was not my complaint. Personally, I believe that I've
always upheld my end of the contract with an employer.

>If you see employment as an adversarial relationship, you will probably be
treated as an adversary. If you see employment as a mutual exchange of labor
and pay where both sides get something they want, then you'll be treated

Also agreed, but a bit naive IMO. I've never seen it that way
('adversarial'), but I'm always 'hopeful' that I will be treated fairly
(although I have sometimes not been).

Andrew continues his rant:
>You are not promised comfort, love, or acceptance at a job. You get paid,
benefits, and hopefully a sense of accomplishment. If the pay isn't enough,
the environment isn't to your liking you have the freedom to walk out the
and never come back.<

Right again. I certainly do not expect work to provide much in the way of
self-actualization, but as most of us do, get a sense of accomplishment from
doing our best.

>This is an appallingly simplistic concept that is routinely misunderstood
unionist types. If you take a reasoned approach to your career, it will be a
lot easier to control what and who your work for. Your rationality and
professionalism will be rewarded with good pay and respect. Alternatively,
you see yourself as a victim and a cog in the machine, you will be treated
such and given lame pay and low respect.<

Well, I believe this is a 'simplistic' way of thinking. Good intentions are
not always rewarded with respect and financial gain. I've been in shops
where the value added from our profession was questioned - I've even had my
sexuality questioned (because I was 'an English major' and a writer). BTW,
your 'unionist type' label doesn't fit (me). Unions, as most reasonable
people would agree, have had their place in our economy and most have
outlived their usefulness. Do I think we need a union for technical
communicators? - that's an issue for another thread.

Finally, Plato concludes with:
>As for the imposition of values. ... don't assume your well-ordered vision
of utopia is shared by all. Just because YOU think 50 hours a week is
exploitation doesn't mean we all agree with you. I think 50 hours a week is
pretty normal and wouldn't complain much about it. If this is exploitation
to you, quit your job immediately and locate an employer that more
appropriately meets your job requirements.<

Well, Andrew a 40-hour work week (norm) certainly isn't all that I would
envision as 'utopian'. But if you think 50 hours, week in/out, is great, why
are you working for yourself? - man, you're the 'ideal corporate employee'
(my old employer is looking for YOU!).

Steve Gillespie

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